Pixie: A Better Bluetooth Tracker?
I reviewed the Tile last year, and despite a few complaints such as non-replaceable batteries and too thick I found the Tile to be useful and in many cases, a necessary accessory. Tile actually released newer slimmer Tiles mid-2016 as well, which addressed one of my primary complaints.
One of the features the Tile was missing for me was a more discrete way to hunt for your missing item. You press the find button in the Tile app and your Tile if in range, will begin to play a tune. What if you're looking for your keys and trying not to wake a sleeping baby? Good luck!
Then I was introduced to the Pixie tracker and immediately took an interest thanks to its "pixie-dust" feature.
What is the Pixie
The Pixie is a Bluetooth-enabled tracking device called a "Pixie Point" that can connect to your phone, wallet, keys, kids, etc. When you are hunting for any of those items, the Pixie app will help you track them down.
**Note: The Pixie app is currently only available for iOS devices. However, they have advised me that an Android application is something we can expect to see in "late 2017."**
What's in the Box
The kit Pixie sent me contained the following:
- 4 Pixie Point Trackers
- 2 Keyfob Pixie Point Carriers
- 3 Extra Adhesives
- 1 Curved Screen Adhesive
- 4 Cleaning Wipes
- Quick Start Guide
Pixie also sent along a Pixie Point iPhone 6/6s case
How does it work?
Like most other Bluetooth trackers you must be within the range of the device (150 feet clear line of sight or 30-50 feet indoors).
Finding your missing Pixified item is relatively straightforward. Open the Pixie app to show your connected Pixie Points and simply tap the item you're hunting for.
Most other Bluetooth tracking devices like the Tile simply offer a find button which prompts your tracker to ring until you tell the application you have found it.
Pixie uses a different approach.
First, you require your primary device, an iPhone 6s in my case, to act is a master Pixie point. That point then calls to the other points
Upon selecting your missing item, you will be prompted to complete a panoramic scan of your area which allows the app the pinpoint the location of the item. Once Pixie has located your item the application will display Pixie dust, highlighting the location of your lost item. It is a simple augmented reality implementation that is fairly well implemented.
As you approach your item, within five ft, the Pixie app enters a sort of "metal detector" mode to navigate you to the exact location of your item with a series of beeps.
I found the Pixie application and Pixie points to be very easy to setup. Adding points to your application are as easy as clicking the "+" sign and place the point at the top left of your iPhone or iPad. Once pairing is complete you can name the point to match the device it will be keeping track of.
There were a few instances where the Pixie app sent me in the wrong direction. One instance during testing sent me out to my front yard looking for my keys, which were sitting on the arm of the couch.
The need to perform a panoramic scan every time I was looking for a device was very tedious compared to using the Tile app and tracker, but my suspicion is that this is required to allow the augmented reality of the application function with the degree of accuracy that it does. However, the Tile app doesn't pinpoint my items location like the Pixie. Tile offers more of a general "over there" location.
My favourite part of using Pixie was the Pixie dust. Often, the item I am hunting for is hiding in plain sight. I don't need to use the app to the point where it enters the metal detector mode. Once I see the Pixie dust light up in the AR overlay, I can mark my item as found and get it. Compared to the Tile tracker, you pretty much are forced to play the audible alert each and every time.
Need to Know
Pixie points, unlike the Tile trackers, are IP67 certified for water and dust resistant.
Pixie points do not have replaceable batteries. This is unfortunate. Pixie does not offer a tracker recycling program like Tile. Something I would like to see them implement in the future. Battery life of your Pixie points can be checked from within the Pixie app by swiping left on any given point and entering the point settings.
Cost and Where to Buy
You can purchase Pixie direct at GetPixie.com; pricing breaks down like this:
- Pixie 2 Pack: $49.99 USD
- Pixie 4 Pack: $99.99 USD
- iPhone 6 or 7 Series Case: $8.99 USD
The iPhone case is currently free with the purchase of a Pixie Pack. Even if it was not, spring for the case. It is good quality and makes the phone Pixie point far more manageable than sticking it to the back on your phone
Should You Buy This?
If you are always looking for your keys and wallet or trying to find where your kids have stashed your iPad. Yes! Buy a Pixie Pack. You won't regret it. Despite a few small annoyances, which make the system work as well as it does, this is the most intuitive and useful Bluetooth tracker implementation I have used to date.
Check out the promo video and let me know what you think about the Pixie Bluetooth tracker system.